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Special Olympics Gives Hughes Strength and Courage to Lead

Giles and Marshall Counties area athlete is a leader on and off the playing field
Michael Hughes article cover.png

Michel Hughes is a Special Olympics Tennessee athlete from the Giles and Marshall Counties area. Hughes is a multi-sport athlete who has competed in volleyball, bowling and more.

"One of my fondest memories with Special Olympics is making the winning play in volleyball, to win us gold,” said Hughes.

His proud victory led everyone to be excited for him and the team. Michael said the team environment is “very positive.”

I would say just never give up, just don't quit. You never know where success will lead you into the future because you are in for great success with it!
Michael Hughes

Another one of Hughes' memories is about his success in Special Olympics.

"Winning athlete of the year was exciting," said Hughes. "The feeling is great showing my hard work is paying off.”

Through these moments of joy, Hughes worked hard to where he got by “training outside of practice.”

Through his outside training and many coaches and mentors, one stuck out to him the most, Ms. Holly.

“She is a good coach to me, and I've been an athlete with Special Olympics for a while now because I'm used to her now," said Hughes. "And it was Ms. Holly who brought me into Special Olympics Tennessee.”

Hughes has been mentored and now he wants to be a mentor to younger athletes.

“It has given me the confidence to teach people that just because I'm disabled, I'm not different from everyone else," said Hughes. "It gave me the strength and courage to teach people that people may judge you but just ignore them and push them out of the way.”

Strong, smart words from Hughes. He also left with some quick advice for when someone joins Special Olympics:

“I would say just never give up, just don't quit. You never know where success will lead you into the future because you are in for great success with it!”

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